Wheat

Turkey is NATO for some odd reason. They get most of their wheat from Russia.

Given:

  • The current tiff between Russia and Ukraine
  • March is normally planting time for UKR wheat
  • Harvests in China have totally sucked the last few years
  • The wheat harvest in the PNW sucked hard last year
  • China would gladly buy all Russian wheat
  • World wheat stockpiles are down
  • US grain bins are not exactly overflowing
  • Russia is one of the largest exporters of fertilizer in the world, and that is likely to be disrupted so many foreign harvests will be down even if weather is perfect
  • The value of AUS and Argentine (major southern hemisphere exporters now harvesting) wheat is up, but actual tonnage increase is nowhere near enough to make up the different in production/demand imbalance

I would expect food prices, even of staples, to soar. Meanwhile the Green agenda has us burning many tons of corn in our gas tanks.

Got garden?

6 thoughts on “Wheat

  1. Rolf.

    Speaking as an Australian farmer.
    Nitrogen fertiliser prices have doubled in the last 12 months. Many here are reducing their plantings of wheat, as average prices and yields will not generate a profit when fertiliser, chemical and fuel/transport costs are taken into account. Wheat is typically sown here in April and May may change over the next couple of months as the market value of wheat increases…. if we can even get fertiliiser.

    The basic feedstock for nitrogen fertiliser is natural gas. The current prices and short supply are not driven by the Ukraine war alone – altho it is a factor. It stems from the panic over climate change and covid. Our governments have been hyper-focused on these peripheral issues and taken the essentials for granted.

    1. Thanks for your input. Always good to hear from boots on the ground elsewhere in the world.
      Farming is an odd combo of strictly local issue and global geopolitics, mundane and absolutely essential to understand. My hat is off to those who can make a living at it these days.

  2. Incidentally…
    NATO is a mutual-defence pact. It is not an agreement on political philosophy, although it generally encourages certain political freedoms.
    Any nation can apply to join – altho not all applications must be accepted – and there are no limits on the number of nations that can join.

    Turkey’s membership is perhaps a historical artefact. It has had conflicts with Russia, historically and understandably desired support during the Cold War. It’s current political/religious nature may seem antithetical to that of the West, but NATO has never had the enforced political unity that characterised the Warsaw Pact.

  3. While wheat will play a part in rising prices, it would be nothing compared to the price increase from the potential sanctions on Russian oil.

    However, you do bring up an important point that wheat and other crop harvests around the world are down the last couple years. We need to look into why that is happening and what can be done about it. The Ukraine-Russia conflict will be a temporary disruption but the underlying causes might not be. I’d like to see a return of the “victory gardens” from WW2.

    Not sure what green agenda you are looking at but the ones I know of agree that corn derived biofuel is incredibly wasteful and inefficient.

    1. Mateo.

      Russian oil and sanctions are only influential due to the Green agendas that have cut production and use of coal, gas and uranium across much of the western world. Agree with it or not, those *have* been the results. Had we more alternative sources if energy, not only woukd prices be cheaper, but Mad Vlad would have less money to fund his military adventures.

      My point is that they are all interlinked. Agricultural grain production is heavily influenced by the cost of energy, and the cost of natural gas which is the feedstock for Urea production. We don’t get cheap food without cheap energy and cheap transport. Low-cost energy is one of the keys to economic wealth, and a healthy economy pays for the things that keep us warm, fed and secure.

      Rolf…
      I appreciate the attaboy!. Farming is a challenging game but has its compensations – as you might understand if you could see the view and the environment in which I’m typing this. Late evening. A half- moon. Dogs, a fire and a view for miles….

      Thank God I’m a country boy…

      Good stories are also intensely valuable. Part of what makes us human, and an important part of what makes us *good* humans, if we are.

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